"My Father has a Choice" - Independent Filmmaking at its Finest
I spent a week in Racine and Kenosha helping a former student and colleague make an independent short film. I love doing this. I have watched the former student Alex Kudrna grow as a professional by exploring his talent and starting his own business “Backyard Dream Productions”. I have also watched a former colleague return to his passion in developing independent film and starting a nonprofit organization Frozen Stage Films. We all complement each other in our strengths and weaknesses. We don’t always necessarily agree with each other but we do work hard to make a film look and sound great. And that is our end goal.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, it takes a village to do a film. You cannot attain filmmaking success alone. You will need the support, feedback and collaboration of other like-minded creatives to keep each other going. They become your family as you slowly become aware that these people become a stronger collective by developing ideas from a seed of a concept. Indie filmmaking is not for the faint of heart. There are long days and nights and, at times, you are depending on the kindness of strangers. But I can’t help embrace indie film’s truth beauty and exploratory nature. This is true artistry because of the many talents of many people that continually need to intersect. And that is exactly what we did. For a week. We set up gear, worked with actors, moved sets, developed blocking, etc. Our indiegogo campaign reached $1900 and an on-ground fundraiser in Kenosha did much better. In total, there was $9,000 to work with. The production was able to pay for a grip truck from Red Star Pictures, a talented sound man, and insurance from Johnsonese Brokerage along with hotel rooms for the crew. We also had about 30 actors and actresses coming from Madison, Milwaukee , Green Bay, Appleton, Beloit and Chicago. But what made this production special were the locations. Cortese’s Restaurant closed its doors to allow us to come in for three days and shoot in almost every room. The atmosphere was incredible as was the owner. We moved almost every piece of furniture and kitchen items in the place, but he merely shrugged his shoulders and laughed. He was having a good time as much as we were. I cannot disclose the second location. The owner would prefer we not discuss it. I can only tell you that it once was a regal theater that held about 1200 people. It will cost 30 million to renovate and we can only wish the owner luck in finding the funding. In the meantime, it had a great atmosphere. Add a fog machine and the place was just eerie. Think about it. What do YOU like to do in independent film? If you’re curious, you can look into our Film Boot Camp in Milwaukee we are sponsoring thought Film Wisconsin. Register now on the eventbrite page. It is two days October 25 and 26, 2015, at Logan Productions.